I’ve always considered my car an educational institution. While commuting any distance, I plug in a motivational or interesting CD to expand my knowledge base. Recently on a drive I listened to an interview with self-made billionaire, Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, women’s shape-wear. I had to smile when she described the use of her vehicle.
Sara has a five minute commute from home to the Spanx headquarters but spends 45 minutes driving aimlessly around Atlanta before arriving at her office. Why? Her car is her think tank. She even describes thinking as one of her favorite hobbies. Driving around provides the opportunity to let her mind wander. She is compulsive about capturing creative thoughts and never leaves home without her trusty spiral-bound Mead notebook.
What works best for Sara is her car; however, accomplishing some heavy-duty creative thinking can be done anywhere. While some prefer a solitary walk in a quiet setting to brainstorm, others like an environment with background noise. According to a study performed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 70 decibels is an ideal setting for percolating out-of-the box ideas. This explains why many individuals enjoy working at coffee shops.
Beside the background noise factor, birthing creative ideas has something to do with your body clock. Although it may seem counterintuitive, there is a school of thought professing your brain works better when you are fatigued. For some individuals, a tired brain lacks singular focus and tends to wander which is often ideal for abstract original thinking.
Another way to garner those eureka moments is exercise. This may be the reason many people like to go for an invigorating run. Albert Einstein claims the theory of relativity came to him while riding his bike.
On the flip side, try dreaming your way into creative ideas. Apparently this worked for Keith Richards who credits sleeping for part of the song “Satisfaction,” the smash hit released in 1965 by the Rolling Stones.
Whatever your modus operandi, it pays to awaken your creative juices. Doing so can help you discover the answer to a nagging problem , or set the stage for a brilliant new product idea as was the case for entrepreneur Sara Blakely. Get introspective. Whether it’s fresh air and a brisk walk to erase those cobwebs from your mind, or perhaps you do your best thinking in the shower or when taking a power nap, find that sweet spot and engage your creative spirit.